A nineteen-year-old boy, just a quiet, unobtrusive young fellow, who talked little but thought much, saw in the discovery of an older scientist the means of producing a revolutionising invention by which nations could talk to nations without the use of wires or tangible connection, no matter how far apart they might be or by what (more)
"There's a million good-lookin' guys, but I'm a novelty!" A true artist, James Francis "Jimmy" Durante was an Italian-American pianist, singer, comedian, and actor. His distinctive raspy voice, language butchery, jazzy tunes, and large nose made him one of America's most popular personalities for 60 years. Jimmy was born on February 10, 1893 in the Lower East Side of New York City. (more)
Amedeo Obici was an Italian-American businessman who founded the Planters Peanut Company. He was born in Oderzo, a town in the province of Treviso, northern Italy, on July 15, 1877. His father, Pietro Ludovico Obici died when Amedeo was only seven. His mother, Luigia Carolina Sartori, was left behind with two sons, Amedeo and Frank, and two daughters. In 1889, his mother's brother, Vittorio Sartori, invited him to come to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he was living with his family. (more)
Born on January 22, 1897 in Meriden, Connecticut, Rosa Ponzillo was an Italian-American singer and one of the greatest sopranos of the past 100 years. Her parents were Neapolitan immigrants who settled on Meriden’s west side. Growing up, Rosa loved the piano but her voice was so beautiful not to be noticed and her older sister Carmela was pursuing a career as a cabaret singer. Rosa began singing popular ballads to silent-movie’s audiences while the projectionist changed film reels, and when she was only 17 her reputation led her (more)
"I have worked without thinking of myself. This is the largest factor in whatever success I have attained." Amadeo Giannini was born on May 6, 1870, in San Jose, California. He founded the Bank of Italy in 1904, an institution that became Bank of America. By the 1930s, it was the world's largest commercial bank; by the time of Giannini’s death, in 1949 (more)
Remember Raffaella, the arrogant girl stranded on her yacht in the middle of the sea with a Communist deckhand? It was Lina Wertmuller’s comedy Swept Away, and it is probably the most internationally known role Mariangela Melato has ever interpreted. Born in Milan in 1941, she acted in 49 films, 36 plays and numerous television programs. (more)
Rita Levi-Montalcini, an Italian neurologist who, together with Stanley Cohen, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of the nerve growth factor (NGF), died today in Rome. She was 103. Born in Turin to a Jewish family in 1909, Rita Levi-Montalcini moved to St. Louis in 1946 to work for Washington University, and she stayed for thirty years. In 1952 she isolated the nerve growth factor, the first substance known to regulate the growth of cells. In 1968 she became the tenth woman elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences. From 1961 to 1978, she directed the Research Center of Neurobiology of the CNR (Rome), and the Laboratory of Cellular Biology. She also founded the European Brain Research Institute, and served as a Senator in the Italian Senate from 2001 to today. In 1987, she received the National Medal of Science, the highest American scientific honor.